The streets of Chicago are organized according to a grid system. Madison Street divides the city to the north and south, while State Street divides it to the east and west.


The intersection of State and Madison in downtown Chicago marks the start of the Chicago network. The addresses are relative to the distance from this point, with eight blocks per mile. Thus, an address of 3600 N. Clark St. means that it is 36 blocks north of Madison Street.

1. Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

Chicago Transit Authority

The second largest public transportation network in the country, CTA operates Chicago’s eight “L” train lines and 129 bus lines.

Not all train lines in the system are elevated (where the term “L” comes from). However, they link the city via above-ground, street and metro trains and serve 145 train stations across the city. Two lines operate 24/7: the Blue Line, which connects Chicago O’Hare International Airport and the city center, and the Red Line, with service between the north and south sides via the center. city.

Convenient CTA bus routes travel throughout the city, with stops every few blocks. Several lines offer Night Owl service, until 2 a.m. or later. Get more information on extended hours of service.

Pay cash for one-way bus journeys or buy a rechargeable Ventra Transit transport card or an unlimited pass for both “L” train and bus journeys. Tip: Download the Ventra app to track the arrival / departure times of CTA buses and “L” trains, and to top up your balance wherever you are.

2. Metra Rail


The Metra high-speed commuter train connects suburban suburbs with downtown Chicago and is a quick and easy way to get to the heart of the city.

3. Taxis


In addition to hailing taxis throughout the city, you can hail and pay online with the ARRO and CURB apps approved by CHICABS. Credit cards are accepted in all taxis.

4. Uber/Careem


Download your Lyft and / or Uber app for free on-demand carpooling throughout the city. Just enter your current location and destination, review the fare options and request your route.

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5. Water taxis

water taxi

The Chicago River Taxi by Wendella Boats and the Shoreline Sightseeing River Taxi offer fast, affordable and fun connections between Chicago’s main tourist destinations, and are the perfect combination of tourism and transportation. Destinations include Chinatown, Museum Campus, Willis Tower, Michigan Avenue, Union Station and Navy Pier.

6. Biking


Chicago is a city made for cycling. There are more than 200 miles of protected cycle paths, buffered cycle paths, conventional cycle paths, dotted consulted paths, marked shared paths and neighborhood cycle paths throughout the city.

Divvy, Chicago’s self-service bicycle program, offers more than 580 stations and 5,800 bikes in the city, available for rental 24/7. Simply collect a bicycle from the free reception service a station and return it to a station near its destination.

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